My mood continues to be a source of concern and irritation. I can’t seem to shake this depression; it’s the worst I’ve experienced in several years. I go from sad to frightened to angry every few minutes. Today I’m mostly feeling anger, and everything is annoying me, from the television to the computer to my mother just breathing. The neighbour upstairs is screaming at her young children as usual and I want to go up there and rip her head off. I’ve logged onto my bank account to find that they’ve applied yet more punishing charges for no particular reason, so I want to go down there tomorrow and firebomb the bank branch. I’m stuck in fury and rage and there’s nothing I can do about it. When I wake up feeling a certain way, I’m destined to feel that way for the entire day. If I try and explore the anger I find nothing but sadness and fear underneath it, and it’s too painful to go far with that.
I am sad and scared because I have no money, no job prospects, no healthy sexual relationships, no reason to get up in the mornings and no identity. I don’t know what to do with my life any more. I have all the questions but none of the answers. The only thing I can think to do that seems right is go to loads of meetings. I attended two yesterday: a Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous meeting in the afternoon and my regular Alcoholics Anonymous group in the evening. I have been to two SLAA meetings this week and although they seem to have opened up an emotional can of worms inside me, I feel like I am in the right place there. SLAA is very different to AA – people talk about sex and relationships and the pain associated with those things to an extent that I’ve never heard in AA. The meetings I’ve been to have focused on sexual anorexia, which basically refers to a compulsive avoidance of sexual and emotional intimacy. For my entire life I’ve probably been sexually and emotionally anorexic. I avoid intimacy not because I want to, but because the prospect of approaching it scares the shit out of me.
My traumatic sexual experience with Martin last weekend proves that my sexual problems are profound. Beginning to deal with this is the most painful thing I have ever done. I want intimacy and love so badly, but I have no idea how to go about finding it, because there are people like Martin around, liars who make you believe that they care when really they just want to spend the night screwing you. When I appear to get close to people, like I got close to friends such as Dean in the fellowship, I find myself backing away subconsciously because the intimacy hurts too much. I don’t know how on earth I can solve this dilemma – so far in SLAA I’ve heard a lot about the problems and not much about the solution. I suppose it ought to be given time. I just want to hear something that makes sense, like the useful and profound things I heard when I first started going to AA, but this particular issue is I guess a lot deeper than alcohol and will take a lot longer to resolve.
It’s like I’ve removed a stopper from a pressure valve inside my head and all the pain and anguish and sickness is now flowing out. I feel so stuck in my life; reality is hitting me and there is nowhere for this pain to go. I’m sharing about it constantly, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Last night at AA I felt comfortable enough to say exactly what was going on for me – I talked at length about my near relapse on Tuesday and the suicidal thoughts that I’d been having. Afterwards friends came up with soothing words of comfort, as they always do, but for the first time their sympathy sickened me. I can’t stand the feeling of people feeling sorry for me any more. Years ago I probably would have loved it, but last night every word of comfort made me feel ashamed of myself, because I should be comforting myself. I’m 25 years old and I should be able to take care of myself, I shouldn’t need people to tell me that everything’s going to be all right, but I do. One person kindly lent me some cash for the week because I had mentioned my dire financial situation. I really wish I hadn’t taken the cash because it’s a sign of how desperate and weak and needy I am. I don’t want people’s charity – it’s very kind of other alcoholics to offer their help in this way, but their charity makes me feel so ashamed of myself. The truth is that I need their charity because I will probably never have the means to support myself. No one is going to employ me so I will never have a regular income, will I?
It makes me fucking sick that we live in a society where you have to have job to have an identity, where you have to work ridiculous hours for ridiculous wages just to feel like you’re worthy of the air that you breathe. This is the reality of unemployment: it’s an absolute fucking nightmare. Anyone who thinks it’s easy needs shooting. Right now I wish I was dead. I’m scrounging off anyone who will help me because I have no way of helping myself. I’m so angry with all the employers who have rejected my numerous applications this year, I wish I could line them up and fire shots at them. If I ran my own business, I would give a job to anyone who really needed one, not to the candidate with the flashiest fucking CV. I have two University degrees which, as far as British employers are concerned, are worth shit. What a fucking joke.
After the meeting last night part of me felt like taking my AA friend’s cash and going out clubbing. I don’t know if I would have drunk – but I would certainly have ended up in a dark place, with some sexual stranger in some situation that had very little to do with intimacy. I would have wanted to be felt, held, desired; it would have been the only thing that could satisfy me. Then I would have come home this morning feeling more dirty and weak and ashamed than ever, so I suppose it’s a good thing I came straight home from Notting Hill last night.
It’s true to say that my sobriety is very precarious at the moment. I had another drinking dream the other night, and this time I could actually taste the alcohol in the bottle of Smirnoff Ice that I was dreamily sipping on. Smirnoff Ice was a drink of choice for me in the old days. I know what these dreams are telling me: that my physical sobriety is in danger, because I’m certainly not emotionally sober at the moment. I’m on a black cloud, waiting for the pink cloud to come back. Will I ever see it again? Oh I hope so.